This is R.S.V.P., a monthly column in which Bon Appétit publishes recipes, requested by readers, from restaurants all across the country. These are real live readers with real live requests—and sometimes desperate pleas—for recipes, which the real live BA Test Kitchen then tracks down, tests, and tastes, so you know the recipes will work at home (send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org). Here’s what our readers want to cook this month, straight from the chef’s kitchen to yours:
“Dear Bon Appétit, Barrel & Ashes is in Studio City, CA, but the food is straight outta Texas! The hoecake is creamy with a sweet, crunchy top. I would love to be able to replicate it for family and friends.”—Lauren Cochran, Miramar Beach, FL
Michael Kahikana, chef de cuisine at Barrel & Ashes, says: “This hoecake is a mix between a more traditional, thin pancake, almost like a tortilla, and classic cornbread. A really hot cast iron is key for a super crispy outside and a custardy inside.”
“Dear Bon Appétit, We had the best ribs at Vine Street Café on New York’s Shelter Island—spicy, smoky, and sweet all at the same time. They were a special that night, but we need the recipe so we can have them any time we want.”—Marilyn Montgomery, Sag Harbor, NY
Terry Harwood, executive chef/co-owner at Vine Street Café, says: “I love the flavor of a pastrami sandwich, so why not apply it to ribs? You have paprika for smokiness, while coriander and black pepper add that pastrami taste. It’s all rounded out by the acidity of the vinegar and mustard.”
“Dear Bon Appétit, We recently took the family to Volt Family Meal in Frederick, Maryland. While the modern comfort foods never disappoint, it was not the fried chicken basket and biscuits, not the potpie fritters or the meatloaf that made the biggest impression; it was the absolutely divine, incredibly creamy, sweet and smooth applesauce that came with my son’s dinner tray. Please, I need to know the secret.”—Sarah Ross, Queens, NY
Bryan Voltaggio, executive chef/owner at Volt Family Meal, says: “Our trick is to roast the apples in the oven before peeling, and then run them through a food processor. You’re using nearly the whole apple, and getting more of that natural pectin close to the skin. Plus, the sugars caramelize while roasting, so your flavor is close to apple pie filling.”
Want us to get a restaurant recipe for you? Send your request to email@example.com.